Long Way to Morning
When Arise and Ruin signed to Victory Records a couple of years ago, they seemed like a promising metal band. Victory is known for signing great up and comers in metal and hardcore (plus they have a brutal name). Arise and Ruin have released two albums since then and, despite some wicked cover art, these albums fall very short of fully delivering on that promise.
The band’s Victory debut, The Final Dawn, is technically decent but lacks any truly inspiring songs. It’s loud, heavy and slightly repetitive with vocals that are shouted rather than sung. This doesn’t necessarily make for a bad album. Bands like Pantera and Throwndown were quite successful with this formula, but that was because the songs were memorable and they stuck to their strengths. Arise and Ruin seem to be unsure of what direction they are going and this makes for a mish-mash of ideas that never quite succeed. To give the band some credit, “End of the Road” is a stand out with its hooky guitar riffing, and the drumming on “Unbound” is phenomenal. Overall though, The Final Dawn is a mostly forgettable album, even if the band shows potential to grow and improve.
Unfortunately, the band’s latest album, Night Storms Hell Fire, fails to live up to the first album’s promise. Though the musicianship has gotten better and the songs slightly more memorable, the band’s confusion over its musical identity seems to grow worse. Each song seems unsure of where it is headed and ultimately gets nowhere. “Thrashburn” sounds like a thrash band poorly recorded back in the early 80’s while the title track sounds like a European doom band poorly recorded in the early 90’s. A better effort is “A Heavy Dose” with its slower, laborious beat, Slayer-esque guitar squeals and oddly melodic guitar solo. “The Aftermath” also has some really interesting guitar work but the build up to it is far too long. “Brothers in Arms” displays the style that Arise and Ruin is most effective at executing, a thrash meets hardcore mix of aggression, and truly optimistic souls can hope they stick to this mix and improve upon it.
This is still only Arise and Ruin’s second album and maybe lessons learned from the previous two will make the next a masterpiece, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.